Article by Subramanya C, Global Chief Technology Officer, HGS
Undoubtedly e-commerce is key to meeting today's customer expectations of personalized interfaces, interactions, and providing Unified Customer Engagement®. The e-commerce industry is a primary area of technology innovation, especially given the growing popularity of e-commerce. According to a Pew Research Center survey, approximately eight-in-ten Americans are now online shoppers: 79% have made an online purchase of any type, while 51% have bought something using a cellphone and 15% have made purchases by following a link from social media sites.
Characterized by lightning fast analysis and promotions, these e-commerce solutions support industry demands and helping both companies and customers keep up with the pace.
Essential components of an e-commerce platform include the following:
1. Large data storage to support inventory management— Managing inventory through your e-commerce platform not only makes information more accessible to sales and customer care, it also enables you to offer more efficient and informed customer experiences.
Inventory tracking capability, especially in a cloud environment, also enables better product tracking and customer complaint management with data sharing across regions.
2. Application of analytics— Your e-commerce solution should allow for enhanced and cutting-edge analytics and accessibility to all available data. This leads to increased sales through deeper insight and better understanding of customer browsing habits and journeys. Studying this data helps in making better product recommendations and offering customer preferred payment options. Hosting customer databases provides easier and streamlined data linking opportunities that enable optimum usage of customer volunteered information such as preferred payment options, browsing and shopping trends. Your e-commerce platform should allow for a deep dive into reasons for purchase abandonment by a potential customer.
Additionally, they can develop and provide solutions tailored to abandonment. As a result of this type of business intelligence, HGS, for example, provided a consumer goods client partner a chat discount option to avoid cart abandonment. This feature to prompts the customer with a message once they abandon the cart that says "Would you like a coupon?" If the customer hits "yes" then it pops open a chat with a team member who will give the customer a coupon code and help them finish making their purchase. The ROI for the client? This proactive chat innovation supported by HGS has helped the client increase conversions by over 40%.
3. Ability to track customer spend trends— With your e-commerce application and customer database hosted on a single platform, all the data you need is available to you in one place. This helps provide analysis on more comprehensive data, generating results that are more effective. Businesses can map customer spending trends and preferred payment options with implementation of analytics that can access and analyze data from all sources. This trend information can be employed to offer discounts and cash back policies for those payment modes contributing to more sales and revenue.
4. Personalized product recommendations— More informed and personalized product recommendations improves
x\\customer experience and enables faster decision making by potential customers contributing to increased sales and revenue. For example, a customer who has repeatedly viewed a product but has not bought may inform you in your survey that the price was a barrier to purchase. Your e-commerce platform should automate price adjustments and offers to the customer, without losing profitability. Your e-commerce platform should enable this through powerful data linking and analytics capabilities that help offer real-time personalized experiences and interactions to customers.
Finally, don't forget the final step of e-commerce— the collective wisdom of online reviews and ratings related to purchasing decisions. BPOs can support with this function, as team members can read each social mention and determine whether it's actionable or non-actionable. If it's actionable, then team members route to the correct party internally to engage. This ensures that all posts get read and followed up on.